Tour’s Books Blog

June 13, 2010

More Super Short Reviews – All Genres

Moving right along, we have:

  • Title: Pretty in Ink
  • Author:  Karen E Olsen
  • Type:  Mystery
  • Genre: Amateur sleuth in Vegas
  • Sub-genre:  Tattoo artist gets involved in another murder
  • My Grade: B  (4.0*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full length novel; about 80,000+ words for $6.99
  • Where Available:  book available at at any book store; 4-for-3 program on Amazon
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online bookstore

I always like finding a worthwhile amateur sleuth/cozy that isn’t so contrived my eyes roll.  I so enjoyed The Missing Ink that I won in a book swap on Paperback Swap, I bought this book as soon as it was released and it went right to the top of the TBR pile.  I’m glad I did.  This sophomore outing for 30 something tattoo artist and high end shop owner, Brett Kavenaugh, is really worth the effort.  Karen E. Olsen is a journalist and mystery writer, and her training shows in her tight prose that moves the story surrounding the murder of a female impersonator and a missing broach at fast clip despite the convoluted plot.  On my list of ‘must read’ series.

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  • Title: Curse the Dawn
  • Author:  Karen Chance
  • Type:  Urban fantasy
  • Genre: Cassie Palmer book 4
  • Sub-genre:  It’s the end of the world!!!!!!!! Again
  • My Grade: B+  (4.3*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full length novel; about 80,000+ words for $7.99
  • Where Available:  book available at at any book store; 4-for-3 program on Amazon
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online bookstore

Cassie Palmer is slowly coming into her own as the Pythia – the chief clairvoyant for the world.  Untrained and desperately in need of training and guidance, she seeks now dead Pythia who named her successor.  Cassie has yet to master her powers, but she can travel through time and does so, with less than satisfying results.  There’s a spy in the inner circle of vampires where she’s under the protection of Lord Mircea.  She also has a battle mage, Pritkin.  The development of Cassie, her relationships with Micrea and Pritkin and the non-stop action plot will keep the reader involved.  Two thumbs up for this one.  Go for it!

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  • Title: Cat’s Claw
  • Author:  Amber Benson
  • Type:  Paranormal
  • Genre: Death’s Daughter gets dragged into otherwordly problems
  • Sub-genre:  How do you avoid going into the ‘family business’?
  • My Grade: C  (3.2*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Full length novel; about 80,000+ words for $7.99
  • Where Available:  book available at at any book store; 4-for-3 program on Amazon
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online bookstore

This second book in the Calliope Reaper-Jones series was one of those books that can seriously annoy the reader.  The premise of Death’s daughter wanting to lead a ‘normal’ life in NYC has all kinds of promise, but the plot here never quite gained traction with me.  The author can’t seen to hold the story line and it feels like a series of set pieces strung together with paper thin connections.  Too many characters, creatures, subplots and ‘noise’ to hold your interest.  No sure I’ll bother with more from this series.  Too many others that are better written.  Try and see if it’s to you taste, because it didn’t work for me.

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  • Title: The Stagers
  • Author:  Louisa Neil
  • Type:  Erotic romance
  • Genre: Menage; m/m/f
  • Sub-genre:  Brainless sex fest
  • My Grade: DNF
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Short novel; about 50,000+ words for $5.50
  • Where Available:  ebook available at Siren
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online from publisher’s bookstore

GAH!  Every once in awhile I hit an erotic romance that is so annoying and brainless, I simply cannot read it through.  This is one of those.  It wasn’t the writing quality, that was actually good, but the characters and the plot were all huge turn offs.  It’s hard to say what was worse, the sexfest m/m encounters that had all the emotional warmth of a walk-in fridg, or the witless heroine.  I need something more than endless sex scenes to actually become mildly interested.  The characters were (charitably) shallow and self-adsorbed.  Plus, who CARES about staging?  I mean come on, this is not exactly thrilling!  No one will die if the couch is wrong for the room.  Dear heavens, DULL and BORING is the last thing an erotic romance should be, but this is it.  If a bunch of sex scenes turn you on, well, go for it.  Otherwise, give it a miss!

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  • Title: Kansas Heat
  • Author:  Jenny Penn
  • Type:  Erotic romance
  • Genre: Ménage; m/f/m/m
  • Sub-genre:  Woman with family baggage and 3 bothers looking for one wife
  • My Grade: B- (3.8*)
  • Rating:  PG-13
  • Length and price:  Super plus novel; about 170,000+ words for $9.99
  • Where Available:  ebook available at Siren
  • FTC Disclosure:  purchased book from online from publisher’s bookstore

Jenny Penn, one of the more reliable writers in the Siren stable, does a good story here about 3 bothers searching for a wife and a woman looking for a no strings affair thanks to a load of family baggage.  It’s not a quick and simple read, but it is solid, complex romance combined with some action and mystery.  Amanda is well developed character.  Cody, Jase and Knox are sort of generic brother characters – a weakness with the males in many menage stories.  The relationship is more polyandry with ménage elements.  Still, the romance works, as do the inevitable misunderstanding, but the big issue with Amanda’s returning dangerous scumbag father, missing narco millions, and the mess the brothers make of their relationship by withholding the whole truth about the death of their first ‘wife’ make the plus length novel move like a much shorter work.  Is it worth the $9.99 for an ebook?  Maybe.  It was a good read and the print book is sure to be pricey, so go ahead and buy.

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1 Comment »

  1. Hey, good to see you back, posting. I really enjoy your reading your reviews. 🙂

    Comment by Vanessa Jaye — June 14, 2010 @ 7:37 pm | Reply


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